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Assembly session on Jan 4, 5

This is going to be first ever session after the recent assembly polls. The session will be held at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar as the main assembly building is under renovation. The budget session of assembly will be called in the last week of February and this will be over a month long session.”

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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Saturday 30 December 2017 2:35 ISTMust readCM Vijay Rupani retains Home, Dy CM cut to sizeFTA, GST hurting Apparel exports: AEPC<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>The first assembly sesson of 14th term is likely to be held on January 4 and 5. The two days’ special session will be called for oath taking of 182 elected MLAs. Governor OP Kohli would administer the oath to all these MLAs.The election for speaker and deputy speaker also will be held in the same session. There is no confirmation from the assembly secretary yet, the sources informed that the government has sought an appointment with the Governor for these two days.This is going to be first ever session after the recent assembly polls. The session will be held at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar as the main assembly building is under renovation. The budget session of assembly will be called in the last week of February and this will be over a month long session.

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Delhi nursery admission: Nursery nightmares begin

With most of the private unaided recognised schools in the national capital giving heavy weightage to the ‘neighbourhood’ criteria — children residing within the 0-3 km radius — arbitrary regulations issued by several schools are giving nightmares to parents seeking nursery admission for their children.In blatant violation of the Delhi government’s Directorate of Education (DoE) guidelines, while some schools are granting extra points to “vegetarian”, “non-smoker” and “teetotaller” parents, some are preferring children/grandchildren of former school promoters or office bearers.According to the criteria released by Mahavir Senior Model School on GT-Karnal Road, extra five points will be given to non-smoker, teetotaller and vegetarian parents, in a bid to shun “social evils”.”We have included the point just to make people realise how healthy and happy their lives would be if they won’t smoke and drink. We, however, are not asking them to give a certificate as a proof,” said SL Jain, principal of the school.Similarly, in another violation, Apeejay school in Sheikh Sarai is giving 15 points to the “Children/Grandchildren of promoters/office bearers/members of board of governors of the school” in its criteria, the move experts term a “disregard” of the government’s directions. “This is a blatant violation and disregard of the DoE’s regulations. The school is also giving a backdoor entry to the candidates coming from its own play school by giving extra 10 points to the child coming from a lower class at any other Apeejay School,” said Sumit Vohra, founder of www.admissionsnursery.com.”Some schools have issued absurd admission criteria which are nowhere mentioned in the DoE’s circular issued on December 19. Parents like us are really confused. The DoE Should immediately issue notices to such schools,” said Ritika Singh, a parent seeking admission for her 3-year-old daughter.Several schools, including Abhinav Public School in Pitampura and Sachdeva Public School in Rohini have asked parents’ to give details of their monthly income, educational and professional qualification in their forms. “How can our educational and professional qualifications can be the parameters of screening the forms of our children? This is absolutely unfair,” said Sikha Sharma, another parent.Officials at the DoE, however, said that they are receiving the complaints and strict action will be taken against all these schools. “We have received numerous complaints through our grievance portal on the first day. Strict action will be taken against all such schools,” a senior official said.The admission process in the entry level classes in 1,700 private unaided recognised schools in the national capital kicked off on Wednesday. The last date to submit application forms in schools is January 17 and the first list will be released on February 1. The admission process will wrap up by March 31, 2018.

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Some Delhites to pay more for water bills

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) today approved a combined 20 per cent hike in water and sewer charges in the national capital for consumption above 20,000 litres a month.However, the DJB will not charge households consuming up to 20,000 litres a month, in line with the subsidy scheme of the Arvind Kejriwal government, which was a key poll promise of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), an official said.The new rates will come into force in February, 2018. In 2015, days after coming to power, the AAP government had hiked water tariff by 10 per cent for consumers falling in the same category, keeping with an annual automatic 10 per cent rate hike mechanism put in place by the Sheila Dikshit government in 2009.However, in 2016, the government decided against following the auto mechanism and put another hike on hold. The current hike comes three months after Kejriwal took over the ministerial portfolio of water after the removal of Kapil Mishra. It will effectively lead to a rise of Rs 28 per month for consumers crossing the 20,000 litres limit, DJB vice chairman Dinesh Mohaniya, who is the AAP MLA from Sangam Vihar, said. “No change in water tariff in Delhi for households using up to 20,000 litres per month for third consecutive year. Above 20,000 litres, a 20 per cent combined hike on water and sewer charges approved in the Delhi Jal Board meeting,” Delhi government spokesperson Nagendar Sharma tweeted.Also readTaps run dry as DJB cuts supplyThe DJB has been providing up to 20,000 litres of water free of charge to domestic consumers. For domestic users who consume between 20,000 litres and 30,000 litres of water per month, the service charge is Rs 219.62 and the volumetric charge is Rs 21.97 per 1,000 litres. Customers who use over 30,000 litres a month pay Rs 292.82 in service charge and Rs 36.61 per 1,000 litres in volumetric charge.

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CBI fails to keep accused in Rs 180 cr fraud behind bars

The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court pulled up the agency for opposing the bail application of one of accused arrested by the agency in a corruption case, as the agency failed to give proper reasoning for opposing his bail. The court held that the accused Pavan Saini, a Rajasthan resident, has assured to co-operate with the investigating officer also the agency does not say if the accused will flee, thus there seems no reason to not to let the accused free on bail.A case was registered by the CBI against Suja Koshi and many others, which included Saini. CBI alleged that a fraud of Rs 180 crores pertaining to misappropriation of amount by transferring through Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) to oriental bank of commerce, Malad branch, for purpose of creating term deposit on February 12 and 17,2014 and that the fraud have been committed by all of the accused.The accused in his plea had claimed that most of the accused who were arrested in the case were granted bail and thus on the ground of parity, even he should be granted bail.The CBI in their reply had said that the accused was involved in very serious economic offence involved in fraud of around Rs 180 crores. His role is very serious. The accused deserves no leniency in such fraud of huge amount. He along with other accused has caused serious injury to the economic fabric of nation.The court in its order said, “The grounds of objection raised by the CBI does not reveal that the accused may flee from clutches of law or he may not appear at time of hearing. The presence of accused can be secured by imposing condition. The trial will take its own time. The nature of offense is such that the custody of accused for further investigation is not required. If he is kept in custody, there is every possibility of he coming in contact with harden criminals and hence in the interest of justice, the accused should be released on bail.”

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Use of Sri Lanka President Rajpaksa’s portrait by rival leads to tussle

The use of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s portrait by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party has led to a tussle with its rival faction which is claiming that the picture of a member of another party cannot be used for campaigning.The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) reportedly used the portrait of Rajapaksa for campaigning for the upcoming council elections.A senior minister representing the government from the SLFP said it is be illegal to use the image of Rajapaksa for campaigning as he is a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and not the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).”They can’t use the image of a member of another party for campaigning,” the senior minister said.The Rajapaksa loyalists who are in the SLPP remain careful not to identify themselves officially with the SLPP as they run the risk of being removed by the SLFP for breach of party discipline by promoting interests of another party.Both factions, however, say that their common enemy is the United National Party (UNP) of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.The party was split with Rajapaksa loyalists who call themselves the Joint Opposition forming a new party SLPP.The SLFP’s mainstream is currently led by President Maithripala Sirisena. The two factions went separate ways after the failure of the unification talks in order to face the February 10 election for 341 local councils.Both factions accuse each other of trying illegally to use the image of Rajapaksa, the man who ended the war with the LTTE.”We object to the use of the former President’s image by the SLFP,” Ranjith Soysa, a Rajapaksa loyalist legislator said.The two factions would go into coalition arrangements after the elections to gain control of the councils.

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2G scam verdict: CAG report triggered furore over 2G

A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on allocation of 2G licences pegging the presumptive loss to Rs 1.76 lakh crore in November 2010 triggered the political slugfest which led to the arrest of A Raja within three months in February in 2011.The CBI had registered an FIR in 2009 but did not name any accused. As the agency failed to take any action the CAG report opened the floodgates for the opposition to slam the UPA government.Petitions were filed in the Supreme Court that eventually began monitoring the investigations by CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.Regular status reports were filed by the investigating agencies in the apex that finally culminated in the charges being filed against then Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK leader Kanimozhi for being part of the conspiracy and receiving kickbacks.Parts of the CAG report were leaked before it was tabled in Parliament creating a furore. It finally became the basis on which criminal action was initiated as it gave a blow-by-blow account of how Raja bypassed procedures, ignored suggestions from Prime Minister Office (PMO), Ministries of Law and Finance.The report was taken by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. There was no consensus and it was rejected by one vote by the committee.

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2G scam verdict: Former CAG Vinod Rai owes Congress apology, nation explaination, says Kapil Sibal

The Congress on Thursday hit out at former Comptroller Auditor General of India Vinod Rai after a CBI court acquitted DMK leaders A Raja, who was telecom minister in UPA-1, and Kanimuzhi for lack of evidence.Rai had calculated that the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008, under UPA 1, led to notional loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer. “There was no case from the beginning. In fact, it was scam of lies, there was no scam on our part. We did it in accordance with policy prescription that we had at that point in time,” Congress leader Kapil Sibal said. Responding to query on the Supreme Court judgment of February 2012 which cancelled 122 telecom licences that were allocated spectrum in 2008, Sibal said that the apex court passed the judgment in its attempt to do the best it could do in the interest of the nation, and it was a wrong decision. “That (SC cancelling telecom licences) was also a wrong decision. The fact that the Supreme Court rendered a decision doesn’t mean that is necessarily right. “In fact, the kind of environment created by the media, the opposition, by Vinod Rai… The telecom sector is in dire state today and this is entirely because of Vinod Rai and opposition (at that time),” Sibal saidAlso readDMK leader MK Stalin hails ‘historic verdict’ in 2G spectrum allocation caseEarlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the Congress is treating 2G verdict as a “badge of honour”, but there is a need to recollect and check the facts that led to an investigation in the case.The party’s “zero loss theory” was proved to be wrong when the apex court squashed spectrum allocation in 2012, the minister said after a special court on Thursday acquitted all accused in the 2G spectrum scam allocation case.Also readFull text of special CBI court’s judgment in 2G spectrum allocation case Though the trial court verdict says nobody was guilty of corruption, investigating agencies will study the case history and look into it, the minister asserted.

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Congress taking 2G verdict as a badge of honour, zero loss theory already proven wrong: Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the Congress is treating 2G verdict as a “badge of honour”, but there is a need to recollect and check the facts that led to an investigation in the case. The party’s “zero loss theory” was proved to be wrong when the apex court squashed spectrum allocation in 2012, the minister said after a special court on Thursday acquitted all accused in the 2G spectrum scam allocation case.Though the trial court verdict says nobody was guilty of corruption, investigating agencies will study the case history and look into it, the minister asserted.Also read2G propaganda against UPA without any foundation: Manmohan Singh”The Congress is treating 2G verdict as a badge of honour, but its zero loss theory was proven wrong when the Supreme Court quashed spectrum allocation in February 2012,” Jaitley told reporters.”The fact that policy has caused loss was proven by subsequent auction. The policy was arbitrary to promote corruption which caused loss to the exchequer. Auctioning gave higher prices, look at the amount collected in auctions. The special court has said nobody is liable for this loss. The chargesheet was filed under the direction of the apex court, Jaitley added further. Former telecom minister A Raja and DMK leader Kanimozhi were on Thursday acquitted by a special court in the 2G spectrum scam case. All other accused and three companies were also acquitted in the case.Also read2G spectrum verdict: All you must know about the case(With PTI inputs)

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Supreme Court’s decision helps drop case pendency

Supreme Court’s decision to hold Lok Adalat in every two months has immensely helped in reducing pending court cases. In 2017, five Lok Adalats were organised in which a number of cases resolved are more than cases disposed of by all courts in the state in last five years.The current year will be remembered for quick disposal of pending cases in the courts. The Lok Adalats were organised in February, April, July, September and December. On a call given by RALSA executive chairman Justice KS Jhaveri, even sitting judges of high court also heard matters in Lok Adalat. The move resulted in the clearing of 2.57 lakh cases in which awards to the tune of Rs 944 crore were passed.Apart from Lok Adalats, district legal service authorities have also contributed in a major way to reduce cases pendency. Cases were resolved in a speedy way in lower courts in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Tonk, Ajmer, Udaipur, Alwar and Kota. In Jaipur alone, five Lok Adalats decided 40,000 cases and passed awards of Rs 126 crore. Justice KS Jhaveri, who has taken a keen interest had also put in efforts in a big way, which have now begun to show results.

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Focus shifts to Karnataka and Northeast polls

Gujarat secured. Himachal Pradesh wrested. The BJP has shifted its focus, strategising for Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Karnataka where elections will take place next year.The party believes that a dip in groundnut prices, which cost it dearly in Gujarat’s rural pockets, will help it in Congress-ruled Karnataka, where it has been highlighting “no steps” taken by the Siddaramaiah government to compensate farmers.”In Gujarat, we had assured farmers that the entire produce will be bought by February, and prices have only dipped marginally. In Karnataka, the Congress is doing nothing to restore groundnut prices or buy the produce from farmers. It will be a major issue during the Assembly polls there,” said a Union Minister, who declined to be named.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a rally in Karnataka on January 28, concluding a 75-day Nav Karnataka Nirman Parivartan Yatra. Undertaken by the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, BS Yeddyurappa, it was launched by party chief Amit Shah. Modi is expected to attack the “failure and corruption” in Siddaramaiah.Modi also made a brief stopover in Mangalore on Monday, which was interpreted as a message that Karnataka is next on the radar.BJP leaders insisted that the party is serious about making a concerted bid to wrest Karnataka, which is the gateway to South India. Karnataka was incidentally the first Southern state to witness a lotus bloom in 2008. The BJP’s poll in-charge for Karnataka, Prakash Javadekar, will visit the state for four days from December 23 to December 26. Meanwhile, Modi visited Mizoram and Meghalaya last week and inaugurated various development projects.He also inaugurated a new BJP Meghalaya unit office there.The BJP is already in power in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh in the Northeast and has set up a North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in 2016.Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland will go to the polls in February 2018, and later in the year in October, elections will take place in Mizoram.The BJP is looking at adding all three states to its tally. The BJP has already sent in research teams in the three states. The Congress, on the other hand, is up for a tough contest in an effort to save its presence in the region.In Tripura, both parties are in for a tough contest against the Communist Party of India (Marxist) whose Manik Sarkar has had an uncontested run for the last 19 years. While the BJP will focus on development in the state where over 65% of the people live below the poverty line, the Congress’s poll pitch will be inclusive development to woo the tribal vote.In Meghalaya, apart from the Jaintia vote bank, the BJP will focus on wooing Christians. Modi has focused on scams. In contrast, the BJP has allies in the Nagaland, where it will face severe attacks on the Naga Peace Framework, and face questions on the territorial integrity of neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Mizoram.Battles aheadThe BJP is already in power in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh in the Northeast and has set up a North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in 2016. Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland will go to the polls in Feb 2018, and later in the year, Mizoram will go to polls

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Centre drafting rules for artworks at airports

The Modi government is in the process of drafting a policy on installation of statues and portraits of prominent dignitaries and persons at airports of India, a reply to an RTI query has revealed.In its reply to Aneesh Bhanot, the civil aviation ministry said it is in the process of framing a policy on installation of statues and portraits at airports, and that no such installations will be undertaken until it is finalised.Aneesh is the brother of Ashoka Chakra awardee Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life trying to save passengers in the hijacked Pan Am flight 73 in Karachi in September 1986.The ministry of civil aviation conferred an honour on Neerja posthumously on February 18, 2010 in New Delhi at the launch of the celebrations of the centenary of Indian aviation.Aneesh has also written to civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju requesting that Neerja’s statue be displayed at prominent places in airports of the country with a plaque which would inspire Indian and foreign passengers.”That the world recognized her immense bravery and sacrifice is obvious from the fact that she was conferred the Ashoka Chakra by India and she became the first woman recipient of the Ashoka Chakra,” the letter mentioned, highlighting other awards received by her, including Tamga-E-Insaniyat by Pakistan, awards of ‘Special Courage’ and ‘Justice for Crimes’,” he wrote.RTI RESPONSENo art installations will be undertaken until the Civil Aviation Ministry frames a policy on it. This was revealed in reply to an RTI query by Ashoka Chakra awardee Neerja’ Bhanot’s brother.

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Assam to host its first Global Investors Summit in February 2018

India’s gateway to northeast India, Assam is all set to hold its first Global Investors Summit on February 3 and 4, 2018.The summit will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and business delegations from the ASEAN countries as well as countries like Japan, UK, USA, and Canada are expected to attend the event.Business tycoons, including Tata, Ambani and Godrej, have held closed door meetings with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on substantial investments to be made in the state.According to KPMG and World bank report, Assam ranks 22nd among Indian states based on ease of doing business and reforms implementation.Assam is the largest economy in the northeast region and acts as a vital hub for trade and connecting with ASEAN countries.Also readIndian citizenship: SC says claims of left out persons to be included in subsequent NRC for AssamOwing to its relative proximity to the rest of the country and availability of quality infrastructure, the state offers a favourable environment for industry.This is the primary reason that the state has adopted numerous investor-friendly policies to attract investments and accelerate industrial development.Also readContinue good work as friends of hill people: Rajnath Singh to Assam RiflesApart from the traditional sectors of tea and oil, the state enjoys advantages in a number of sectors like organic cultivation, food processing, tourism, renewable energy and petrochemicals and the government has come up with sector specific policies to promote investments in 10 sectors.The chief minister has also made a strong pitch for improved connectivity.Apart from a major infrastructure push, the chief minister recently announced a provision of Rs100 crores to help establish air connectivity with ASEAN countries.With such a concerted effort, expectations are high that the state will soon join the bandwagon of high growth states in India, says the report.

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10 free WiFi zones to come up in Ahmedabad

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) that had announced to provide more than 45 free WiFi spots in city under its Smart City plan by August has now decided to at least start a trial run on 10 of these by December 30.Ahmedabad has lagged behind as Rajkot has been providing internet access to its citizens since February. For internet connectivity and fibre optic network, civic authorities of Ahmedabad have allotted a budget of Rs 239 crore including CCTV cameras for surveillance.The 30 minute of free Internet access would be provided to Amdavadis under Internet of Things (IoT). “We are ready with the 10 spots as part of a trial run. December 30 is the day when we are going to start the run. Initially, we have covered all zonal offices of AMC, MJ Library, Riverfront, LG Hospital and a dental college of AMC,” said Yatindra Nayak, manager e-governance of AMC. “User data and limit is yet to be finalised and will be based on TRAI guidelines,” added Nayak.”Any smart phone has to be connected with the Internet after generation of One Time Password (OTP),” said Ramyakumar Bhatt, assistant municipal commissioner. Interestingly, a private company had started to provide free internet service in some zones of Ahmedabad in 2014, when Narendra Modi was the CM. The PM had even launched eight Wi-Fi hot-spots for citizens to enjoy seamless network facility including Kankaria Lakefront, Gandhi Ashram, Science City and Civil Hospital. The facility at most of these areas is not available now.AMC promises that soon after the trial run, more than 45 such spots will be set up. It is to be noted that the civic body is providing free internet access during its annual book fair which is held in May.CONNECTING PEOPLEFor internet connectivity and fibre optic network, civic authorities have allotted a budget of Rs239 crore including CCTV cameras for surveillance A 30-minute free Internet access would be provided to Amdavadis under Internet of Things (IoT) by the authorities

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Seize assets, use for nation: Abdul Karim Telgi’s wife

Abdul Karim Telgi’s wife, Shahida, wants the government to seize the deceased scamster’s assets and use them for the welfare of the nation. Telgi was the mastermind behind the multi-crore fake stamp paper scam; he passed away on 23 October 2017 due to multiple organ failure.On Saturday, Shahida submitted an application before the MCOCA court seeking directions to investigating agencies to seize all of Telgi’s properties. Telgi was arrested in 2001 and convicted of printing fake stamp papers in a government security press in Nashik. He was lodged in a Bengaluru jail when he died.Shahida also submitted a list of immovable properties which she claims have not yet been seized by investigating agencies. “Shahida is accused number 67 in the case,” her lawyer Milind Pawar said, “According to investigating agencies, Telgi used the money earned through the scam to purchase property, some of which was bought in Shahida’s name and in the name of other relatives.”He added, “Shahida wanted to bring them to the notice of the court, and therefore she submitted the application for their seizure.”Shahida mentioned in her application that it was Telgi’s dying wish that the properties he bought using money from the scam should be used for the benefit of the nation. “Shahida has submitted a list of immovable properties, out of which seven are in Belgaum and two are in Bijapur, Karnataka,” said Pawar.Shahida claims in her application that she is a god-fearing person and this motivated her to come clean about the properties so that justice is served. “Shahida, in her application, stated that she believes that every person has to repay his or her deeds and misdeeds on the earth itself and she wanted to stay away from any sin. Her faith in God and in the judicial system compelled her to inform to the court about Telgi’s unseized properties.”The next hearing of the case is scheduled on 3 February, 2018.

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Don’t demolish jhuggies till winter is over: Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked all land-owning agencies in the capital to not demolish jhuggies and instead take a humanitarian approach till winter is here.The AAP chief told agencies to stop any demolition activity going around in the city even in future without organising ways to relocate or rehabilitate people.”Please do not demolish jhuggis till winters are over, say around February 28, next year. It’s very cold and take a humanitarian approach. Besides, no demolition should take place immediately without following the framework of the demolition policy,” said the CM in a statement issued by the Delhi government.However, the statement comes at a time when a number of homeless could be spotted sleeping on pavements in the open in the absence of enough night shelters in the city.The CM has also asked the land owning agencies to follow the protocol set for demolition in letter and spirit.”No demolition should be done in future also without proper rehabilitation or relocation of the slum dwellers. DUSIB will lay down the norms for demolition according to the notified Slum Policy and it will be applicable across the city and for all agencies,” Kejriwal said in the statement.The decision was taken in a meeting over slum policy on Friday, with the concerned departments including Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), Urban Development, Delhi Development Authority, and the three municipal corporations.The slum policy notified recently lays down guidelines for demolition and has made DUSIB the nodal agency for relocation/rehabilitation of the jhuggi-bastis.HomelessThe statement comes at a time when a number of homeless can be spotted sleeping on pavements in the open in the absence of enough night shelters in the city.

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Supreme Court raps Delhi govt over ‘illegal constructions’

The Supreme Court on Friday posed searching questions to the Delhi government on the issue of rampant unauthorised constructions in the national capital and asked whether it was prepared to stop them.A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said the Delhi government should reply to its queries in ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the issue.”Are you (government) interested in stopping unauthorised constructions? Is the Delhi government prepared to stop illegal constructions in Delhi or not? We are asking you a simple question. Answer in yes or no,” the bench told the counsel appearing for the government.Responding to the court’s queries, the counsel said “yes” and told the bench that the city government would file an affidavit in this regard.The court directed the government to file an affidavit indicating the exact plan to stop unauthorised constructions.The bench posted the matter for further hearing on February 15 next year.The South Delhi Municipal Corporation had on Thursday told the apex court that it was taking action against illegal constructions in its area from time to time.The court had earlier said the rule of law over sanction to construct buildings has “completely broken down” and expressed concern over rampant illegal constructions here.It had decided to restore powers of the 2006 Monitoring Committee, which was relieved in 2012, to identify and seal unauthorised premises and construction in the city.The Monitoring Committee, comprising K J Rao, former advisor to the election commissioner, Bhure Lal, chairman of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and Major General (Retd) Som Jhingan, was set up in March 24, 2006, by the apex court to oversee implementation of the law relating to sealing of offending premises.

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Mumbai: Government, Opposition at loggerheads over Shiv Jayanti at state assembly

The state assembly witnessed uproars with members from both Opposition and the Treasury benches rushing to the Well of the House when a BJP MLA raised the issue of birth date of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It was BJP MLA Suresh Halwankar who raised the issue soon after the question hour. Raising the issue through point of propriety, Halwankar said that despite the fact that Shivaji Maharaj is revered to every person of Maharashtra, his birth anniversary is celebrated on two different days. Halwankar said that state Government should decide it for once and all by appointing a committee of expert historians so that birth anniversary is celebrated on a single day through out the state. Soon Halwankar raised the issue, NCP MLA Jitendra Avhad and Veerendra Jagtap objected to it and rushed to the Well of the House. Ajit Pawar, Dilip Walase-Patil and leader of Opposition in state assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil also rose from their seats and Vikhe-Patil demanded removal of Halwankar’s remarks from the proceedings of the House.It was senior MLA Yogesh Sagar who was in the Chair but soon after pandemonium, Speaker Haribhau Bagade took charge and maintained that Halwankar’s remarks would not be removed from the proceedings. Avhad and Nitesh Rane said that the state would not tolerate any insult to Shivaji Maharaj and Halwankar was trying to create yet another controversy. Walse-Patil and Vikhe-Patil said that raising such issues would result in fomenting communal tension. MLAs from both the sides rushed to the Well of the House and started giving slogans. Members were in the Well of the House for almost 15 minutes and House could not transact any business during this time. It was Ajit Pawar who made a brief speech and said that Halwankar has expressed his views and Speaker has made it clear that every member has right to express his opinion, he has done it. Pawar said, `every year Chief Minister of the state pays his tribute to Shivaji Maharaj on February 19’th, the birth anniversary which was decided by an expert’s committee appointed by Government. If Halwankar has any issue, he can talk to Chief Minister since Halwankar is a BJP member. But I appeal everyone not to raise issues which would lead to controversy.’Speaking to media persons outside state assembly Halwankar alleged that committee was appointed during the tenure of Chief Minister Manohar Joshi but Congress-NCP Government which came to power started celebrating Shiv Jayanti on February 19’th. He said that there was no consensus among the historians on the issue of accurate birth date of Shivaji Maharaj and there are people who celebrate birth anniversary on April 8’th since they believe that birth date of Shivaji Maharaj falls on April 8’th, 1627. Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu made it clear that Shiv Sena would continue to celebrate Shiv Jayanti on his birth date as per Hindu calendar.

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Indian-origin man killed at gunpoint by armed robbers in Ohio

An Indian-origin man has been killed during a robbery by two hooded attackers in Ohio, becoming one of the the latest victims of gun violence in the US.Karunakar Karengle, 53, was working last Monday at the Jiffy Convenience Mart on Camelot Drive when two men came in with a firearm around 10 pm, police said.Fairfield Fire Department first responders arrived and brought Karengle to UC West Chester Hospital.Police said that Karengle died of his injuries on Friday. His identity had been withheld until his family in India was notified, Journal News reported.No arrests have been made, making nearby businesses and employees a bit uneasy.Fairfield police Lt Ken Gerold said they believe Karengle did not have relatives that lived in the area.Also read21-year-old Indian man shot dead in USA description of the suspects was unavailable, police said, except that they both wore hoodies covering most of their faces. One wore a dark jacket while the other wore a light coloured jacket.”I’m sorry that it happened,” Kim Cannon said. Cannon works across the street from Jiffy Mart at Laundry Station.”It scares me even more knowing that the guys, or whoever it was, were parked behind our building and I was working that night and could have walked out.”It was shocking to hear that somebody was actually killed,” Cannon said.The shooting comes amidst growing attacks on Indians and Americans of Indian descent in recent months.Earlier this month, a 30-year-old Indian national pursuing his masters in Chicago has been seriously injured after he was shot in his right cheek by an unidentified assailant.Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a software engineer from India, was fatally shot in Olathe, Kansas, in February by a US navy veteran who had told him and his friend at a bar to go back to their country.Weeks later, a Sikh man was shot in his arm in his driveway in Kent, Washington state, by a masked man who had told him go back to his “own country”.There were 58,491 incidents of gun violence across the country in 2017 in which 14,763 people were killed and 29,888 others injured, according to Gun Violence Archive (GVA), a not for profit corporation providing public access to gun-related violence.

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‘Winter’ is coming: Mumbai records coldest day of season at 15.8 degrees celsius

Mumbai recorded the coldest day this season, with minimum temperatures dropping to 15.8 degrees CelsiusThe 24- hour temperature recorded between 8.30 am on Wednesday to 8.30 am Thursday saw the minimum temperature dropping to 15.8 degree Celsius at Santacruz, while the minimum temperatures recorded at Colaba was 18.8 degree Celsius.“Mumbai does not experience a winter as compared to the northern states but at times due to northerly winds during the night and the effect of snow fall in Jammu and Kashmir it has phases where the minimum temperature sees a drop for few days,” said an official from the Regional Meteorological Centre, Mumbai adding that due to the temperatures seen dropping on Thursday the city was experiencing cooler breeze even till noon.Karan Rane a Borivali resident said that it was quite chilly in the wee hours of Thursday. “I was returning home around 2am from work and I was almost shivering in the auto rickshaw.”Meanwhile several morning walkers too claimed that they suddenly felt the nip in the air on Thursday morning as the temperature drop was quite evident.In fact in December 2016, the coldest day was recorded on December 11 when the minimum temperatures dropped to 15.0 degree Celsius while the coldest day of December 2015 was on December 24 when the minimum temperature recorded was 11.4 degree Celsius. However the all time record for coldest day in December was on December 20, 1949 when the minimum temperature recorded was 10.6 degree Celsius.According to IMD officials till date Mumbai’s three of the coldest days have been in January 1962, when the minimum was recorded as 7.4 Celsius, In February 2008 when the minimum mercury reached 8.5 degree Celsius and in February 2012 when the minimum temperature recorded was 8.8 Celsius.

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Delhi High Court allows distant kin to donate kidney to ailing doctor

A 58-year-old doctor suffering from kidney failure received a new lease of life after the Delhi High Court (HC) permitted him to take the organ from a distant relative. Dr Jasjit Singh was refused the organ by his immediate family members for varied reasons. Earlier, the authorities concerned were not permitting Singh’s maternal uncle’s daughter-in-law to donate the kidney for him as they suspected some financial transaction. Justice Vibhu Bhakru, however, allowed Singh to take the kidney after finding out that there was no financial transaction involved. The judge also interacted with the donor in chambers, without the counsels from both sides. The donor was told about all the risks involved in donating an organ and undergoing an invasive surgery. The donor, however, said she has long-standing relations with Singh and that she wanted to donate the organ. “There is no doubt that the donor is fully aware of the risks of the surgery. But she is firm that she wants to donate her kidney,” the court said in its order, adding that the she has denied any kind of financial transaction. Singh had undergone a transplant in March, 2015, after both his kidneys stopped working in February, 2015. At the time, his wife had donated her organ. However, just six months later, the organ dysfunctioned due to BK virus.His maternal uncle’s daughter-in-law then took the decision to donate her organ. This process was not given clearance by the authorities under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissue Act, 1994. The court ruled out any possibility of financial transaction after it held that the husband of the donor was not facing economic crisis and the famiy was well-off. “….there does not appear to be any monetary need that would warrant the donor to enter into a transaction to donate one of her kidneys for any monetary consideration,” the court said.It then directed the Authorisation Committee to reconsider the application for grant of approval for kidney transplantation.

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Kansas shooting hero Ian Grillot who took a bullet for Indian gets TIME magazine salute

Time magazine has honoured Ian Grillot, the US national who took a bullet for an Indian while trying to intervene during a racially-motivated shooting in Kansas early this year.Grillot’s name features in the magazine among “5 Heroes Who Gave Us Hope in 2017.”Grillot, then 24, was injured when he tried to intervene in the shooting by a Navy veteran targeting Indians at a bar in Olathe, Kansas, in February.Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32 , was killed in the shooting that also left his colleague Alok Madasani, critically injured.Also readUS Navy veteran charged with killing an Indian in Kansas City bar pleads not guilty”I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I didn’t do anything,” Grillot said in an article posted by Time on Thursday.The magazine saluted the Kansas man as the “bargoer who stepped into the line of fire.””Without all the prayers and positive support from everybody, I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am right now. It has been a wonderful year and a blessing to be alive,” Grillot told PTI.Earlier this year, Grillot was honoured as ‘A True American Hero’ by the Indian-American community in Houston which raised $100,000 to help him buy a house in his hometown Kansas.Also readWidow of Indian national killed in Kansas bar shooting faced deportationGrillot was watching a televised basketball game at the restaurant when a gunman approached Srinivas and Alok, both 32, and reportedly told them to “get out of my country.”Grillot was shot in the chest in an attempt to keep the assailant from harming others.Adam Purinton of Olathe has been charged with first- degree murder and attempted murder in the assaults.Others saluted by Time included a chef who fed Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico, Houston neighbours who aided a woman having a baby in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and a California dog who refused to leave behind livestock he was guarding as wildfires raged. Also readUS: Indian-American doctor stabbed to death by patient in Kansas

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Indian shot in Chicago; family asks for Sushma Swaraj’s help

An Indian man was allegedly shot by unidentified assailants at a parking lot in Chicago, US.The 30-year-old student from Hyderabad was shot at Albany Park area on December 6, according to an NDTV report. He has been seriously injured and is currently hospitalised in critical condition.The victim, Mohammed Akbar, has suffered bullet injuries on his cheek, according to his family.Also readKansas man indicted on ‘hate crime’ charges for killing Indian national Srinivas KuchibhotlaAkbar has gone to US to pursue higher studies and is doing his masters in computer science at DeVry University.The victim’s family has sought for Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s help on the matter. They have asked for Swaraj’s help on issuing an emergency travel visa to United States. They had also asked for Telengana home minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy’s help to raise the issue with the concerned US authorities.The nature of the incident is not yet known and if it is hate crime incident in US. In February this year, an engineer from Hyderabad, Srinivas Kuchibolta, was shot dead and his two friends were seriously injured in United States’ Kansas by a Navy man who yelled “get out of my country”.

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Debt-ridden Air India seeks Rs 1,100 cr loan to modify planes for VVIPs

Disinvestment-bound Air India is seeking loan worth over Rs 1,100 crore for modification of two Boeing aircraft scheduled to be acquired next month for ferrying VVIPs, according to an official document.The two Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft are to be delivered in January 2018 and the cost for “modification in its (planes) interior configuration” is estimated to be USD 180 million. At current exchange rates, the amount will translate to over Rs 1,160 crore.These planes will be used to ferry the President, Vice President and Prime Minister.Also readAir India seeks to raise short term loans around Rs 1500 croreIn a tender document, the national carrier said it would like to avail a bridge loan of up to USD 180 million to finance the cost of modification.”Government of India has indicated that they would issue its guarantee for the financing cost of modification of the two B777-300 ER aircraft for a period of 12 months or less,” the document issued last week said.Also readWant to make Air India vibrant, govt working on ‘alternative mechanism’: Ashok Gajapathi RajuThese planes will undergo re-configuration.The proposed loan amount will be availed during the period from January to April 2018. The first instalment of USD 135 million would be taken next month, while the remaining amount will be borrowed in a quantum of USD 15 million each in February, March and April, respectively.Also readAir India’s domestic, global ops to be sold together, says Jayant SinhaLast month, an Air India official had said after required modifications, the two planes will join the fleet used to carry the President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister.According to the airline, no commitment fee would be paid to the lender for the USD 180 million loan. “Prepayment/ short closure of the loan should be allowed without any extra cost to Air India as the loan would be repaid as soon as the funds are made available by Government of India,” it added.”The Indian Income Tax Act imposes withholding tax on interest payments to lenders outside India. The rate of withholding tax on interest payments will be considered in financial evaluation of the offers to determine the all-in cost of your offer,” the document said.Last month, Air India had sought loan to the tune of USD 535 million to finance the acquisition of three Boeing planes, including the two aircraft to be used for ferrying VVIPs. At that time, the amount was around Rs 3,460 crore.Air India has a debt burden of more than Rs 50,000 crore and these loans would further increase the debt level.In 2006, Air India placed orders with Boeing for 68 aircraft 27 Dreamliners, 15 B777-300 ERs, eight B777-200 LRs and 18 B737-800s. Of these, the state-run carrier has already taken the delivery of 65 planes. At present, the flagship airline has a fleet of 115 aircraft.The government is in the process of finalising the modalities for the strategic disinvestment of debt-laden Air India as part of efforts to revive the carrier.

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Aadhaar linking deadline extended

The Centre plans to push the deadline for making Aadhaar card mandatory for 131 services, including banking services, from December 31 to March, 2018. A notification in this regard will likely be issued on Friday, the Centre told the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday.Attorney General K K Venugopal told a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra the deadline to link Aadhaar number with mobile phones could not be extended beyond February 6, 2018, since the order was imposed by the top court in another PIL.The top law officer’s submission came on the heels of a mentioning made in the Aadhaar matter before a bench that also comprised justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.The bench then said it would set up a Constitution bench to hear petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act next week. At the same time, it would also decide on other related notifications issued by the Centre and see whether any interim orders need to be passed.Representing a batch of petitioners opposing Aadhaar, senior advocate Shyam Divan requested a direction seeking no coercive action against those who have not yet submitted their unique 12-digit identity number and a stay on the enrollment process.Venugopal, however, opposed the move and submitted that the Centre was ready to defend their pet project. “There cannot be a stay on the Aadhaar scheme that has gone on for years,” he said.The top law officer then added that a committee involved in bringing out a Data Protection law, headed by former SC judge BN Srikrishna, was likely to submit its final report by February.Earlier in August this year, a nine-judge Constitution bench declared the right to privacy a fundamental right and said that individual cases challenging Aadhaar would be separately decided by a five-judge Constitution bench.On October 30, the bench said it would hear the Aadhaar matter in November, almost five years after the first plea was filed. Several petitions in this matter have been pending since the top court referred the matter to a larger bench nearly two years ago.
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Chennai man accused of murdering his mother and a seven-year-old girl escapes from Mumbai Police custody

S Dashwanth, an accused in the rape and murder of a-seven-year-old girl and a suspect in the murder of his own mother, has escaped from the police custody near the Mumbai airport when Tamil Nadu police team was escorting him on Thursday a day after nabbing him.According to police sources, Dashwanth was handcuffed when he escaped from the police custody. The accused was heading to a toilet near the Mumbai airport when he gave a slip to the police on Thursday evening. The 23-year-old Dashwanth who was arrested from Race Course in Mumbai on Wednesday was earlier produced in the Bandra Court and availed a transit warrant.The accused who was out on bail in the child rape and murder case was missing since December 2 when his mother Sarala was found murdered in his home with her jewellery missing. His father accused him of murdering his wife. He alleged that his son was demanding money for some days and he refused to give him. The police traced Dashwanth to Mumbai after enquired his prison friends – history sheeters James and David.In February this year, Hasini, a seven-year-old went missing and later her burnt body was found. Dashwanth who was residing in the same apartment complex was arrested by the police for rape and murder of the girl child. The Mahila Court framed charges against Daswant and the trial in the case was set to begin on December 5. The case was adjourned as Daswant went missing.
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HC gives Mumbai University another chance for on-screen evaluation of exams

The Bombay High Court today gave the University of Mumbai another chance to ensure that the technical glitches it faced with the on-screen marking (OSM) system during the summer semester are not repeated during the winter semester this year.The court was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by students and the Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union challenging the OSM system for assessing papers online.”Earlier the university went on to introduce the system without doing proper homework. But now we are informed by the state government that the glitches have been identified and remedial measures have been undertaken,” a division bench of Justices B R Gavai and Manish Pitale said.Also readMore chaos likely as Mumbai University gets extension to form bodies”We are of the view that taking into consideration the fact that the government has stepped in and monitored the new system, it would be appropriate to give the university another chance to conduct the OSM system,” the court said.The petitions were filed after the university earlier this year faced problems with the system and failed to declare the summer semester results in time.Also readMumbai University students left in a lurch due to no grievance mechanismThe university’s lawyer, Rui Rodrigues, today informed the high court that the present semester’s exams are likely to get over by mid-December and the results are expected to be declared after 45 days.The bench then posted the matter for further hearing on February 14.Also readMumbai University VC Sanjay Deshmukh removed for his ‘gross negligence’The state government today filed an affidavit saying several meetings were held with the university’s vice chancellor, and Maharashtra’s governor and chief minister to discuss the difficulties faced by the varsity in declaring the results.”After discussing all the pros and cons, it was decided that the Mumbai University, being a premier university, the OSM system shall be continued for the second half of the examinations of this year too. All issues will be resolved before commencement of the exams,” the affidavit said.
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SKAT prepared to dazzle Jodh skies

Denizens of Jodhpur city will be treated to the daring aerobats by the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) aerobatic demonstration team – Surya Kiran. With their aerial meticulously planned and executed stunts, the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) is surely going to thrill the locals while also providing them with a window into India’s sky warriors.Interestingly, it will be for the first time for Rajasthan, since the induction of MK132 – Hawk – jets into the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team that the team would demonstrate its flying. Moreover, it will also be the first time when the full strength of nine jets would take part in Rajasthan. Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team is expected to carry out a number of maneuvers including close passes, brand formations and rolls, and loops.Formed in 1996 to serve as the “Ambassadors of the Indian Air Force” and also to “showcase the professionalism, the caliber and the mettle of the Indian Air Force” , the Surya Kiran Team flew in the HJT-16 Kiran MK2 before being suspended in February 2011 due to a shortage of basic jet trainers in IAF. However, the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team was resurrected in 2015 when the Hawk MK132 was inducted.The Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team had previously visited Jodhpur in September last year when it had six planes, however this time the full nine planes are set to thrill and awe the people with their finesse in flying. The team was formed in 1996 to serve as the “Ambassadors of the Indian Air Force”
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Elections to begin for MU’s Senate, BoS

After a long delay, the University of Mumbai has finally kick-started the process for the formation of two of the important governing bodies — Senate and the Board of Studies (BoS). The varsity would conduct elections to these bodies in two phases.In the first phase, elections for the Principals, Management Council Representatives, university teachers and department heads from colleges to the Senate would take place. In the second phase, elections of teachers and graduates would take place.The official notification regarding the elections would be uploaded to the varsity’s official website on December 2. “Elections for the Senate and the Board of studies are for the first time, taking place under the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016. We are hoping to make the whole election process smooth and can hope to get these bodies in working soon” said Dr Devanand Shinde, acting Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai.In the backdrop of the delay, the state government also revised the deadline for completing the election process from November 30, 2017 to February 28, 2017.Sanjay Vairal, ex-Senate member of the university said, “Without the bodies, all key decisions at the university have been pending.”
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Nov gold imports highest in a yr

Ahmedabad reported the highest import of gold in a year in the month of November, official data shows.GSECL, which handles cargo at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, said that 14.40 tonne gold was imported at the Air Cargo Complex in November 2017, 22% lower than 18.65 tonne imported in November last year, but the highest in a single month after that. With the exception of November 2016, gold imports at the Air Cargo Complex in November 2017 were the highest for a single month since August 2016, when 15.78 tonne gold was imported, as per the GSECL data.Some of the other months in the past year in which high gold imports were reported include May (12.95 tonne), March (11.45 tonne) and February (10.15 tonne).For the first eight months of the current financial year, ie from April-November 2017, 47.80 tonne gold was imported at Ahmedabad, an increase of 31% over 36.37 tonne in the same period of last year.SILVER IMPORTS Imports of the other shiny metal silver, which stood at 25.56 and 26 tonne for September and October respectively, stood at 0.36 tonne in November.
For the first eight months of the ongoing financial year, silver imports at Ahmedabad airport were reported at 116 tonne as against a bit under 12 tonne in the same period.
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State to roll out int’l board schools by Feb ’18

The state government is all set to kick-start its own Secondary School Certificate-I or SSC International board schools by February 2018. The state’s school education and sports departments issued a government resolution (GR) Thursday with guidelines on how the 100 international schools will be setup in the state.DNA was first to report that the medium of instruction at these SSC International board schools will be Marathi in Maharashtra, and will soon start other regional languages in the state as well.The state government has decided that nine international schools will guide the other international schools in their areas. The regions where the schools will open are Konkan, rural areas of Pune, Aurangabad, Nasik, Amravati and Nagpur. The GR states that one school from municipal corporations, two schools from rural district areas and two from social welfare departments will be chosen for the international school status.The selection of schools and teachers will take place in December this year. There will be a workshop on the selection of schools, principals and teachers. From March 2021 and March 2022, the 100 schools will prepare for Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Programme in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).The criteria for schools to bag the international status include having the best school infrastructure, facilities for increasing the number of students in school, separate toilets for girl and boy students, internet and technological facilities, clean premises, adequate transportation for students and a school management committee.GOING GLOBALNine international schools will guide the other international schools in their areas. The schools will open in Konkan, rural areas of Pune, Aurangabad, Nasik, Amravati and Nagpur
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MahaRERA order: Form society before possession

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a decision by Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), a developer has been asked to initiate the process of society formation even before he hands over the possession of the flats. The possession of the flat by the developer will be given by January 31, 2018, however, within 30 days of the order (dated November 23), he has been asked that the process of society formation be initiated, as more than 51 per cent of the apartments in the project have already been sold. Experts say this order will set a precedent, as other developers will have to follow suit. Additionally, though there is conflict as certain rules also state that a society can be formed only after receiving completion certificate, the MahaRERA rule will be held above all this.While hearing a case of delayed by possession filed by homebuyers Sangeeta and Dinesh Mehta against Nandaaj Developers, MahaRERA chairman Gautam Chaterjee passed the order, asking the developer to initiate the process.Following the order, Ramesh Prabhu, chairman of Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA), said, “This is a good order and will set a precedent for all developers to follow. There are examples where developers for years do not form a society, because they want to enjoy the benefits. For example, in the initial period after the project is completed, many homebuyers carry out sale of the purchased flat. For this, builders charge them a transfer fees and if they form a society immediately, they will suffer a loss. Now, after sale of 51 per cent of the total flats, they have to initiate a process of society formation.”The complainant had alleged that they entered into a registered agreement for sale dated December 12, 2012 to purchase an apartment in Royal Residency, Parel-Lalbaug, adding that the date of possession was on or before March 31, 2014. But, till date they haven’t received the possession so they sought the authority’s intervention to register the society within a period of one month, as more than 51 per cent of the apartments have been sold.The developer had countered that the building is almost complete and he has applied for Occupation certificate and the possession of the apartemnt will be handed over by January 31, 2018.Hearing the matter, the authority then directed the developer to handover possession of the apartment to he complainant before January 31, 2018, failing which he shall be liable to pay interest to the complainant from February 1, 2018.The authority further directed the developer to initiate the procedure for fomation of society within 30 days from the date of the order.According to Prabhu, there are several other departments that also had different rules for society formation. “Under one of the act, within few months of receiving occupation certificate the developer had to form a society. Another department had this rule that society be formed only after receiving completion certificate. The new ruling of MahaRERA will be over all these. Hence, now, societies will be formed at the earlier benefiting the common home buyer,” he said.

More chaos likely as Mumbai University gets extension to form bodies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the state government giving extension for state universities to form their governing and statutory bodies by February, the University of Mumbai would now have to function with ad hoc bodies until then.Since 2015, after the previous bodies dissolved, MU has been running with an ad hoc management council, academic council and other bodies awaiting fresh elections as per the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016. While state varsities including MU were supposed to form fresh bodies by November 30, the extension given by the cabinet would now allow them to do so till February 28. With some of the key posts at the varsity being occupied by incharge officials , delay in formation of bodies would lead to further chaos, said experts. “The university has been running on an ad hoc basis. The VC, Pro VC, registrar , Director , Examinations are all temporary appointments. At such a point the delay in forming bodies would impact the decision making process at the University ” said Sanjay Vairal, ex Senate member of the university.

Varsities get more time to form statutory bodies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government on Tuesday gave an extension to all the universities to form their governing and statutory bodies like the Management Council and the Senate. The state cabinet decided to pass an ordinance in order to extended the earlier deadline of November 30 up to February 28 for forming all these bodies.DNA had earlier reported about snail paced working of the University of Mumbai in the absence of permanent bodies which were dissolved in 2015. The varsity delayed the process of elections to these bodies as a result of which the government was forced to extend the deadline. “The deadline for appointing all the bodies of the state universities has been extended up to February 28, 2017 as several universities could not complete the process by the earlier deadline” stated an official statement from the government. The cabinet also decided to make changes in the schedule for accepting applications from new colleges for the upcoming year considering the suggestions that the expert committee had made with respect to the perspective plan” read the statement.Another important decision was to allow the Vice Chancellor to use a lottery system to nominate reserved candidates from the senate to the management council.

Jaipur: Retired IAS officer arrested on charges of raping girl in 2013

Updated: Nov 21, 2017, 04:33 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Retired IAS officer BB Mohanty has been arrested on charges of raping a 23-year-old girl in 2013, police officials said here today.Mohanty was arrested last night. He was chairman of the Rajasthan Civil Services Appellate Tribunal at the time the FIR was registered. He was suspended by the government and later retired. Mohanty surrendered… and was placed under arrest last night. He will be produced in a local court today, Deputy Commissioner of Jaipur Police (South) Yogesh Dadhich told PTI.He surrendered before an assistant commissioner of police (ACP).A case against Mohanty was filed in January 2014 after a girl accused him of raping her in February 2013 on the pretext of helping her clear the civil service exam. The FIR was lodged with the Mahesh Nagar police station following directions by a lower court.

Jis desh mein… Ganga to be ‘1st’ Rajasthan constable

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ganga Kumari of Raniwara will create a record of sorts when she will become the first transgender to join Rajasthan police as a constable.Ganga had applied for police recruitment in 2013 and was selected on February 13, 2015 but her selection was cancelled when she was found to be a transgender in the medical examination. However, Ganga challenged the decision and after four-year legal battle she finally got what she rightfully deserved. Hearing the petition filed by Ganga, Justice Dinesh Mehta of the Rajasthan High Court on Monday ordered the Home Secretary to appoint Ganga on the post of constable within six weeks and she should also be given all the emoluments from 2015.Ganga in her petition had pleaded that she had mentioned her gender as female in the application form and her selection was also done on that basis. During the hearing of the petition at the High Court, Ganga’s counsel Rituraj Singh cited the Supreme Court verdict of the National Legal Service Authority Council of the Union of India saying, none of the cross-genders can be neglected. Every Indian citizen has the right to get a job according to the constitution. It is not written that the transgender will not be appointed. Anil Bissa, the counsel for the state government, told the court that during the medical examination, petitioner was found to be of third category (transgender) and in this connection, the bill was also passed on behalf of the state government which is pending in Parliament and there is no option or category of transgender mentioned anywhere in the relevant rules. Amendments to related rules are possible only after the bill is passed by the state government.Justice Mehta reprimanded the govt counsel and said that if the bill will not passed for three years, would any transgender not get a job? Agreeing with the arguments of Ganga’s lawyer, Justice Mehta issued orders to the home Secretary of the Government, Director General of Police and Jalore SP for the appointment of Ganga as a constable. Also, orders have been issued to to give her emoluments from December 2015.Overjoyed by the decision, Ganga said, ”that there was no option other than male and female in the form of police recruitment That’s why I applied in the female category due to the identity of a girl from childhood. I have full confidence that when I get the appointment, I will prove to be a good constable.

Bihar: Four lakh contractual teachers threaten to go on indefinite strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around four lakh teachers, working in government schools on a contractual basis, have threatened to proceed on an indefinite strike, if the Bihar government does not implement ‘equal pay for equal work’ for them.The decision comes in the wake of the Bihar government mulling to move the Supreme Court over Patna High Court’s decision that contractual or ‘Niyojit’ teachers were entitled to equal pay as their regular counterparts.On October 31, a division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anil Kumar Upadhyay had directed the state government to fix pay scales of contractual teachers on a par with regular teachers of nationalised schools, within three months.However, with the state government yet undecided, more than 20 associations of contractual teachers of primary, secondary and senior secondary levels, have come together and said, “If the Bihar government does not implement equal pay for equal work by January 31, 2018, they will lock the schools across the state and proceed on strikes from February 1, 2018.”It may be mentioned that the Class X and XII exams of Bihar School Examination Board is held in February and March, and the contractual teachers comprise a major chunk of its invigilators. The education department will face much inconvenience in the event of the teachers proceeding on strike. However, implementation of the ‘equal’ pay scale, will put an additional burden of Rs 2,900 crore on the state exchequer. The contractual teachers were appointed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, after he came to power in 2005, to fill up existing vacancies and streamline the education sector in Bihar. Initially, they were offered a consolidated pay, however, few years into service and they started staging agitations demanding equal pay for equal work. While they were given a ‘pay scale’ in 2015, it was still less than the regular teachers.

Thane: District court acquits 4 in 2010 murder case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A district court in Thane acquitted four persons in a 2010 murder case of a woman, giving them the benefit of doubt.District judge Vilas V Bambarde in his order recently said the prosecution failed to prove the charges against the four – Mohammed Tausif Taher Ansari (33), his wife Sana Tausif Ansari (31), Rashid Yusuf Shaikh (33), and Afrin Babar Ali Khan (31), and acquitted them.Prosecutor Sanjay Londhe told the court that the accused trespassed into the house of the victim – Rabia Babar Ali Khan (30) – in February, 2010, and killed her.He said the police then registered a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Bombay Police Act.Afrin is the second wife of the complainant Babar Ali Khan. The the victim was his first wife.There was an animosity between the two women and hence Afrin hired the Ansari couple as contract killer, and they killed the victim with the help of Rashid Yusuf Shaikh.But defence counsels Ramrao Jagtap and CJ Jahagirdar contested the claim and said the accused were falsely implicated.”There is nothing incriminating against the accused to connect them with the murder of Rabia. The alleged extra judicial confession is not established. There is no evidence that accused have trespassed into the house of Rabia after making preparation for killing her,” the judge said in his order and acquitted the four.

Plea for FIR in Ramjas College case rejected

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court on Tuesday rejected a plea that had sought directions to the Delhi Police to register an FIR in the incident of alleged anti-national sloganeering at Delhi University’s Ramjas College in February this year.Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra said there was already an FIR into the incident and there was no need for duplication.The court’s directions came after a complaint was filed by advocate Vivek Garg, seeking lodging of an FIR against those who allegedly raised anti-national slogans at the campus on February 21 and 22. In his plea, Garg alleged that slogans were raised by members of students groups All India Students Association (AISA) and Students’ Federation of India (SFI).“Serious allegations of seditious sloganeering by unknown persons have been made. Complaint is relying upon an unauthenticated audio-video footage, stated to have been obtained by him from social media, wherein the alleged seditious slogans have been recorded.

In Supreme Court, hope for those stuck with banned currency

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the last hearing of the ongoing case in the Supreme Court, where several aggrieved citizens had sought relief and directions from the RBI about their old currency to be exchanged, the Centre assured them that no criminal action would be pursued.Assuring the petitioners, Attorney General KK Venugopal cautioned that the allowance was limited to the amount specified in their pleas before the apex court.The bench, led by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, then clarified that protection could not be extended for any other amount possessed, since the demonetization law is still constitutionally valid.The petitioners before the bench said they were unable to exchange their old notes for new before the window set by the Centre expired. The lead petitioner, Sudha Misra, alleged that for her wedding in January 2016, she was gifted some cash. However, because she was pregnant with her twins in November, she coulnd’t exchange the cash in her possession.Another petitioner, 71-year-old Sarla Shrivastava who lost her husband in April 2016, came across Rs.1,79,500 while going through her husband’s possessions, after the window for exchange had closed.Abhishek Shukla, the alleged bookie who exonerated along with S Sreesanth, filed an unusual case. In 2013, when the Delhi police booked Shukla, they seized Rs.5 lakh — in the now-banned notes. When the money was released in February 2017, however, the notes had been demonetised and the window to exchange them had closed.Though the centre has remained firm on the issue of reopening the window, the top court has allowed these petitioners to tag themselves in a matter that challenges the demonetization law.Iegality of actThe matter challenges the demonetisation law and deems it to be unconstitutional. A five-judge constitution bench will now deliberate whether demonetisation was legal.

After Panama Papers, Amitabh Bachchan’s name appears in Paradise Papers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After his name appeared in the Panama Papers, veteran Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan’s name has appeared in the Paradise papers as well. According to the report by ICIJ, in collaboration with The Indian Express, Bachchan became a shareholder of a digital media company in 2000. However, it is not clear if the shareholding was disclosed to the Reserve Bank of India, as at the time all investments made abroad by resident Indians required RBI permission. This changed in 2004 after the Liberalised Remittance Shceme was introduced.Appleby records Bachchan and Silicon Valley venture investor Navin Chaddha as shareholders of Jalva Media Ltd on June 19, 2002. The company was set up in Bermuda on July 20, 2000 and dissolved in 2005.The company was launched by four Indian entrepreneurs in California in January 2000, with the Indian arm – Jalva Media India Pvt Ltd – being set up in February 2000. A third company was set up in Bermuda in July that year. In October 2005, Appleby stating that Jalva-Bermuda, listed as “bad debtor”, “shall stand dissolved”. Appleby had already terminated services to the company on January 14, 2004.Jalva-India survived on paper till it opted for the ‘Easy Exit Scheme 2011’ of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, for being “inoperative for the past six years due to the reason of business not being successful.” A

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: Our aim is to have more IAS officers from minorities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government is considering giving more funds for coaching of minority candidates for the civil services exams, said Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, central minister for minorities affairs, on Sunday. Naqvi was in Mumbai to attend ‘Role of Education and Skill Development for the Process of Minorities”, a programme organised by Siddiqui’s Educational and Welfare Trust, which is into skill development.”We are looking to give more funds for coaching of minorities. A lot of people have taken the exams and also qualified. In the last exam 52 IAS officers qualified from the minority community. We hope that in the next result too the number will go up,” said Naqvi.Naqvi said that government was not doing any favour on minorities and giving money that they deserved. “Despite problems, Muslims have always given dua that the country only move forward. The community has not allowed the ISIS to have a foothold in the country.”The minister said that the government is promoting skill development through different ways and is also looking to create hubs at different centers. “We will also have a exhibition of work of artisans. In February one such exhibition will be held at Islam Gymkhana in city.”Dr Zahir Kazi, president of Anjuman I Islam, another speaker at the event, said they were willing to become nodal agency of the government in propagating and creating awareness on the various schemes of the government related to minorities. “We would like to take that to the field level,” said Kazi.HELPING HANDIn the last exam 52 IAS officers qualified from the minority community, said Naqvi
He said the government is looking to give more funds for coaching of minorities.
The minister said the Centre is also promoting skill development through different ways.

Odisha: Unable to get a home, daily wage labourer starts living in toilet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 50-year-old daily wage labourer from Odisha has converted a Swachch toilet into a home after his repeated requests for a house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) bore no results, reported the Times of India.According to the report, Chotu Rautia’s parents lost their first home to the Rourkela Steel Plant when it was set up in 1955. They eventually built a house in a resettlement colony until they died. After their death, Rautia couldn’t maintain the house, which eventually crumbled.Rautia was then told of PMAY and applied for a home, but to no avail despite holding a BPL card. In February this year, two officials told him that while they couldn’t provide him a home, they coud help him acquire a roof on his head and helped him construct a toilet. And the irony of life. With his toilet playing house, Rautia treats the outdoors as his toilet.

Banks and telecom service providers have to indicate last day for linking Aadhaar: SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court today made it clear that banks and telecom service providers will have to indicate the last date of linking bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar in their communications with customers.Currently, the last date to link Aadhaar with bank accounts is December 31 this year while for mobile numbers, it is February 6, 2018.The top court did not pass any interim order on the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act as well as linking of 12-digit unique biometric identification number with bank accounts and mobile numbers.It said that final hearing in all Aadhaar-related issues would start before another bench in the last week of November and that bench would decide on the issue. Moreover, the Centre has already extended the deadline till December 31.A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan was told by the advocates representing the petitioners that “panic” was being caused among the people as the messages sent by the banks and mobile service providers were warning them the services would be deactivated if Aadhaar is not linked.”We make it clear that in the messages sent by banks and telecom service providers, the date of December 31, 2017 and February 6, 2018, shall also be indicated as the last date of linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers,” the bench said.The court issued notice to the Centre on four separate pleas and tagged them with the main petition which would come up for final hearing before a constitution bench.At the outset, the bench said that since another bench was scheduled to commence the hearing on Aadhaar-related pleas from the last week of November, the matters listed before it should also be decided by that bench.Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing one of the petitioners, referred to the recent affidavit filed by the Centre and said it has been told by the government that the December 31 deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts may be extended up to March 31, 2018.”The notification says the process (of linking Aadhaar with bank accounts) should be completed by December 31, 2017 or else the accounts would cease to operate. Now, they say it may be extended till March 31, 2018.Therefore, till March 31, bank accounts should not be made non-operational,” he said.He said Attorney General K K Venugopal had recently mentioned the matter before Chief Justice Dipak Misra but not made a statement that no coercive action would be taken till March 31, 2018 against those who have not linked their mobiles or bank accounts with Aadhaar.”The whole idea is not to coerce people. If they are extending the deadlines, this aspect must be clarified,” Divan argued while also raising the issue of linking of Aadhaar with mobile numbers.When the bench asked the Attorney General about it, Venugopal referred to the apex court’s judgement declaring right to privacy as a fundamental right and said in that verdict, Justice D Y Chandrachud had emphasised on a robust regime for protection of data.He said the report of Justice Sri Krishna committee, which has initiated the process of reviewing the entire issue of data protection, is likely to be ready by first week of March and that is why he had mentioned the matter before the CJI for extension of time till March 31, 2018 for linking of Aadhaar to avail the benefits of various government schemes.”It was opposed tooth and nail (by the petitioners). The court had said it will hear it in the last week of November,” the Attorney General said.When the petitioners again said the Centre should not take coercive action against anyone till March 31 next year, the bench said, “till December 31, time is already there”.”Since the final hearing in these matters would start in the end of November and time is already extended up to December 31, 2017, there is no need to pass any interim order at this stage.”However, liberty is granted to the petitioners to press prayer for stay in case the hearing does not take place or continue beyond that,” the bench said.At the fag end of the hearing, senior advocates Arvind Datar, Anand Grover and K V Vishwanathan, representing the petitioners, said the Centre cannot compel the citizens to link Aadhaar either with bank accounts or mobile numbers.Datar said that under the prevention of money laundering rules, the government cannot say that bank accounts would be discontinued after December 31 unless linked with Aadhaar.”There is no doubt that these arguments need consideration. The matter is going to come up in the last week of November and the time (to link Aadhaar with bank accounts) has been extended till December 31,” the bench said.Vishwanathan argued that the Centre should tell the banks and mobile service providers not to send messages to customers threatening them of deactivation of accounts or mobile numbers if they fail to link it with Aadhaar as the “public is in a panicky situation due to this”.On October 30, a bench headed by the CJI had said that a constitution bench would be constituted and Aadhaar-related matters would come up for hearing before it in November last.

Deeply disappointed, says India as China once again blocks move to ban Masood Azhar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a sharp reaction, India on Thursday slammed China’s double standards as it once again blocked a move by the US to sanction Masood Azhar as ‘global terrorist’.Beijing used its veto power to block a resolution by the US to ban the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief.All 15 nations, except China, have agreed for sanction against Masood Azhar.“Deeply disappointed that once again, a single country blocked international consensus on designation of an acknowledged terrorist Masood Azhar,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.“India strongly believes that double standards and selective approaches will only undermine international community’s resolve to combat terrorism,” the statement read.“Can only hope that there will be a realisation that accommodating with terrorism for narrow objectives both short sighted and counter-productive,” New Delhi said.A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.The JeM, founded by Azhar, has already been in the UN’s list of banned terror outfits. China had in August extended by three months its technical hold on the the US, France and UK-backed proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN after having blocked the move in February this year at the United Nations.This is the second year in succession that China has blocked the resolution. Last year, China had done the same to stall India’s application before the same Committee.

Osama bin Laden followed developments in Jammu & Kashmir, Headley trial: Documents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Osama bin Laden closely followed developments in Kashmir and the trial of Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley in the 2008 Mumbai attack case, according to documents seized from a Pakistani compound where the al-Qaeda founder was killed in a US raid in 2011.The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) yesterday released 470,000 additional files seized in May 2011 when US Navy SEALs burst into the Abbottabad compound and shot dead Laden.The files include Laden’s son’s wedding video and diaries left by the Saudi-born militant.The documents revealed that Laden closely followed news related to the arrest of Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Headley and was a regular reader of some of the top Indian publications.An Indian Express article titled ‘Omar Sheikh s Pak handler Ilyas Kashmiri also handled Headley’ was found from the computer of Laden in Abbottabad. The article was dated November 16, 2009.An article ‘Fears of air-borne terrorists strikes in India, UK’ published in Sri Lanka Guardian was also found in a separate file on Laden s computer.A Press Trust of India story headlined ‘Al-Qaeda helping Taliban to destabilise Pakistan Government: Gates’, dated February 9, 2010, was also found on Laden’s computer.Another article found on his computer was about the coded communications between Headley and his Harkat-ul-Jihad- al-Islami (HuJI) links. The news was published by The Time of India on November 15, 2009.Laden also saved on his computer another PTI article, titled: ‘India to send magistrate to US to record Headley’s statement’.Laden highlighted in yellow some portion of the article titled ‘Pak Major handled Headley’s India recce’, published on March 16, 2010.The highlighted portion reads, “The dossiers also sought the custody of Pakistani terrorist, Ilyas Kashmiri.” The documents also revealed that Laden was interested in news related to Kashmir and several terrorists.An Economic Times story ‘US asks Pakistan to find Iyas Kashmiri’ dated January 7, 2010 was among the saved documents on Laden s computer.A February 2009 article about ‘Pakistani Kashmiri militants now fighting NATO forces’ was also found.CIA Director Mike Pompeo said the release of recovered al-Qaeda letters, videos, audio files and other materials provides the opportunity for the American people to gain further insights into the plans and workings of the terrorist organisation.At the direction of President Donald Trump, the CIA put online 470,000 additional files.However, the CIA withheld release of nearly two dozen videos, including the one titled ‘The Story of India’ stating that they were copyrighted videos.The ‘Story of India’ is a BBC documentary series about the history of India.The documents also include Laden’s personal journal, over 18,000 document files and 79,000 audio and image files, which include practice reels for public speeches, audio correspondence and imagery gathered or generated by al-Qaeda for a variety of purposes.”The CIA will continue to seek opportunities to share information with the American people consistent with our obligation to protect national security,” he said.”The materials are posted in the original Arabic and in as close to the original form as possible, modified only so the files cannot be edited,” the CIA said.The CIA said these materials provide insights into the origins of fissures that exist today between al-Qaeda and the ISIS, as well as strategic, doctrinal and religious disagreements within al-Qaeda and its allies; and hardships that the terror group faced at the time of Laden’s death.Other themes in the materials include al-Qaeda s preparations to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and the group s attempts to promulgate its message through western media.The documents also provide insight into al-Qaeda s efforts to exploit the Arab awakening for its benefit and that of the global jihad, Laden s efforts to maintain unity within the group and among its affiliates despite disagreements over tactics and doctrine and the terror group’s efforts to rehabilitate its tarnished image among Muslims due its mistakes and negative media portrayals.The CIA said the information remaining in the Abbottabad collection that has not been released publicly includes materials that are sensitive such that their release would directly damage efforts to keep the nation secure; materials protected by copyright; pornography; malware and blank, corrupted and duplicate file.

Confusion at IGIA after T2 reopens

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Irked GoAir passengers have been complaining since Sunday that the airport operators did not make an effort to direct them to the newly renovated Terminal 2 (T2) of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA). The Airlines shifted its operations to T2 on Sunday, while other domestic flights are still operating from other terminals.Passengers said chaos ensued at the airport after the domestic operations were split between two terminals. While GoAir is operating from T2, SpiceJet and IndiGo will continue to operate from 1D. The two airlines are still at loggerheads about which airlines will next move their operations completely to T2, in order to allow the airport operator to execute Terminal 1D’s expansion.Many GoAir passengers have been turning up at 1D and then travelling back to T2, more than 2 km away.DNA had reported in March this year that T2, renovated at a cost of over Rs 100 crore, missed its fourth tentative deadline to be operational in February, 2017. The terminal was to be opened on January 1, 2017, but the deadline kept extending. The terminal missed yet another deadline on February 15, after which the Ministry of Civil Aviation had said that it will find a solution within a week.Now, SpiceJet and IndiGo are also expected to shift their operations to T2 soon. Earlier, operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) had insisted that SpiceJet, IndiGo, and GoAir should shift one-third of their existing flights from 1D to T2, but the suggestion was opposed by the airlines, which were not keen to operate from two terminals simultaneously. It was then proposed that either all three airlines shift their flights to metro cities to T2, or SpiceJet and GoAir go to T2 but IndiGo keep operating from 1D, but nothing worked out within the time given by the DIAL.

Nab Solanki in 24 hrs or be ready for stir: Jignesh Mevani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch leader Jignesh Mevani has demanded that BJP’s former MP from Junagadh Dinu Solanki should be arrested in connection with the RTI activist Amit Jethava’s 2010 murder case within 24 hours or people will come out on streets and launch an agitation demanding justice.On October 30, the Supreme Court’s division bench of justice AK Sikri and justice Ashok Bhusan while cancelling Solanki’s bail had ordered, “He shall be taken into custody and remain there during the period of re-examination of eight eye-witnesses. The trial court shall summon 26 witnesses who are to be examined afresh, eight eye- witnesses shall be summoned and examined on a daily basis.”Deceased’s father Bhikha’s advocate Anand Yagnik stated on Wednesday that though there is SC order to take Solanki into custody immediately, he is still out. “Though in two other cases lodged against him, HC had ordered CID (Crime) probe in February but CID (Crime) is yet to arrest him.” The advocate claimed Solanki has political patronage.Solanki also faces charges of attacking another RTI activist Mahesh Makwana besides leading an armed mob and attacking one Jaitun Salot’s house. In support of his allegation, he had also submitted a video CD before the HC. RTI activist Amit Jethava had launched a campaign against illegal mining near Gir sanctuary and had even filed a PIL demanding action before being gunned down in front of the HC in 2010.’CBI, CID ARE CAGED PARROTS’Dalit leader Mevani alleged that CBI and CID (Crime) both are caged parrots of the BJP. It is the reason that both the agencies are not investigating the case impartially and laying their hands on Solanki. Mahesh Makwana, who was severely injured in the attack by Solanki, alleged that even on Wednesday, Solanki was busy addressing political and community meetings, as if there is no arrest order from the SC.

Indian Navy to soon have 12 mine countermeasure vessels to ensure submarine safety

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Navy will soon have 12 Mines Countermeasure Vessels (MCSV) in its fleet. The expansion in fleet is thanks to talks between Goa Ship Yard (GSY), a public centre undertaking under the Ministry of Defence, and a South Korean firm.The MCSV are naval ships used to destroy naval mines. The project cost, which is estimated at Rs 32,000 crore, will help the Indian Navy detect and destroy mines that are a constant threat to submarines.“We are in talks with a South Korean company and our company is also boosting its capacities and mordernising its yard to design and manufacture vessels for the Indian Navy, as well as allies of India,” said SP Raikar, the director of operations with GSY.A Russian delegation recently visited the shipyard to hold talks on frigates which will boost capabilities of Indian navy. “The talk is on with Russia over frigates and we are hopeful,” said a source while speaking to DNA.The source added that talks with the South Korean firm regarding the manufacture of MCSVs has been dragging for the past one year. “There is some price quoting issue as many companies within the country are in fray. However, we are hopeful to bag the order,” the source said. GSY has supplied naval vessels to Myanmar, Oman and Mauritius. In July this year, an offshore petrol vehicle was sold to Sri Lanka. “We will supply one move vehicle in February 2018. In a separate ceremony, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will hand over an OPV to the Indian Navy,” Raikar added.

DNA wins award for mental health report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chennai-based Schizophrenia Research foundation (SCARF) on Saturday honoured seven journalists for their contributions towards mental health awareness through their work in the media.DNA’s Marisha Karwa won the third prize for her report on how the use of dramatic language to refer to mental health patients trivialises their suffering and fight against serious mental health conditions. The report (http://bit.ly/2yY0noG) was published on February 22.SCARF director R Thara and chief guest retired Justice Prabha Sridevan gave away the awards. Among the other winners was Soma Bose of The Hindu.

Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017: OBC leader Alpesh Thakore to officially join Congress on Oct 23

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thakor community and OBC Ekta Manch leader Alpesh Thakor on Saturday confirmed that he would be joining the Congress Party, ahead of elections in poll-bound Gujarat.”Rahul Gandhi would be coming to our rally on October 23, and I will join the Congress party,” Alpesh told reporters here.In the run up to the Gujarat election, the Congress has promised to give Patidars 20% reservations under the “economically backward classes” quota.Following this, Thakor, along with Ashok Gehlot and Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki earlier reached the residence of Congress Party vice president Rahul Gandhi.Solanki had invited Patidar leader Hardik Patel and other caste-based leaders to join in the fight against the BJP in the Gujarat Assembly polls. However, Patel on Saturday turned down the Congress’ invitation to fight the Gujarat Assembly election jointly, saying the polls were not a BJP-Congress fight.The 14th legislative assembly election in Gujarat is to be held by the end of 2017 as the term of 13th assembly ends on January 22, 2018.Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is heading his party’s poll campaign in Gujarat. He is eyeing to dethrone the ruling BJP in Gujarat.The last Congress government in Gujarat was led by Chhabildas Mehta from February 17, 1994 to March 13, 1995

Civic body plans 10 new parks across city’s west, east zones

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The parks and garden department of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has planned to give 10 new parks to newly added areas in the city. the aim is to increase the tree across these regions.”At present, there are 228 parks in the city. But there are a few areas where there are no parks or public gardens. We are aiming to provide gardens and areas for recreational activities to the people of Gota, Nikol, Vastral, Chandkheda, Ranip etc,” said Jignesh Patel, director parks and garden department, AMC.”The areas have developed and people are residing at those places at large. We are aiming to give them the garden space within this budget period only.The gardens will be ready by February 2018,” added Patel. The cost of the parks is not yet decided, but they will be completed at the cost of around Rs. 2 crores.At present, the city has only around 4.66% tree cover, and the areas just outside it has around 10% greenery.To increase the tree cover, AMC is trying to plant more saplings.”This year, we have planted 68,000 saplings. The drive will continue until December. We are encouraging people to join us and help plant more saplings,” said the director. “As a part of Green Ahmedabad initiative, we have developed certain rich green pockets in the city. At Gyaspur, we have planted and grown more than 68,000 trees near Pirana, which in itself is a bio-diversity rich pocket.,” said Patel.

Salute Kerala CM Vijayan for confronting forces trying to divide people: Arvind Kejriwal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today commended his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan for “successfully confronting all those forces” trying to divide people in the name of caste and religion.Inaugurating a cultural festival jointly organised by the two states here, Kejriwal said the situation demanded unity among parties to fight the forces polarising the society.He did not name any individual or party, nor said who he was referring to. But the Kerala chief minister and the BJP have been accusing each other of unleashing political violence against the workers of the other party in the southern state.”I salute the Kerala CM for confronting all those forces that are trying to divide people. Our strength is our unity in diversity. No one likes hatred. We are people who support love and like to live in harmony,” Kejriwal said.Vijayan said this was a “time in which those speaking truth are targeted”, referring to the killings of activist- journalist Gauri Lankesh in September and rationalist M M Kalburgi in August 2015.More than 40 percussionists performed the 300-year-old art form Chenda melam at the cultural event. The chief guests were welcomed with Theyyam – a popular ritual dance form of North Malabar in Kerala. Scores of people attended the event.Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said though politically and geographically both the states were separated, culturally both were alike.”With this event we have to show the unity. I do not believe in one nation, one tax, but I do believe in one nation, one culture,” Sisodia said.The Kerala Delhi Cultural Heritage Fest, an initiative of Kerala government under Cultural Exchange Programme, would continue for two more days in Connaught Place, NDMC Hall, and the Kerala House.Kejriwal said the Delhi government would organise a similar event in Kerala in February next year.

Delhi HC sets aside JNU disciplinary action against Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and 13 others

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In a significant decision, the Delhi HC on Thursday set aside disciplinary action taken by JNU against 15 of its students, including ex-JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar, in connection with a controversial event on February 9 last year in the varsity.Justice V K Rao has asked Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to hear the matter afresh after allowing the students to inspect the records and hearing them. The court told JNU’s appellate authority to pass a reasoned order within six weeks of hearing the students, who also included Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, that the varsity did not give them due opportunity to defend themselves against the charge of indiscipline. The students in their pleas had also challenged their punishment, which ranges from rustication for a few semesters to withdrawal of hostel facilities.JNU had rusticated Umar from JNU till December this year, while Bhattacharya was expelled from campus for five years. Post the event on campus against hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised, Kanhaiaya and its associates landed in an eye of storm. They also were arrested in sedition charges though were freed later. With PTI inputs

PMIC to meet,take up MIAL’s bid for Navi Mumbai airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to give a much needed push for the development of Rs 16,000 crore Navi Mumbai international airport, the project monitoring and implementation committee (PMIC) headed by the state chief secretary Sumit Malik will meet on October 18 to give its nod for the financial bid received from GVK-led Mumbai International Airport (MIAL). PMIC’s approval is necessary to recommend the MIAL’s bid to the state cabinet for its final nod. Thereafter, the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), which is the nodal agency for the airport development, will issue a letter of intent (LoI) to MIAL.The MIAL, who had outsmart its rival GMR, had submitted its bid in February offering 12.6% in revenue share. The project will be carried out on a public-private partnership (PPP) model. CIDCO will incur pre-development work costs. Award of the LoI is considered as an important step in taking the project forward, which is dogged by inordinate delays since its conception in 1997.CIDCO vice chairman and managing director Bhushan Gagrani told DNA,’’CIDCO has received stage II forest clearance in May. The pre-development work has already begun. PMIC will meet on October 18 and after its recommendation the state cabinet will give its approval for MIAL’s bid. Later, LoI will be issued.’’A fortnight ago, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the work for the first phase will commence by December 2019, and added that his government would issue a LoI as awarding the contract is a “matter of time” now. He also said the pre-developmental works for the ambitious project will be completed by May next year.However, a CAPA Global Strategy Report for July-August 2017 stated that the airport is unlikely to commence operations before March 2024, as significant earthworks need to be performed at the site, located in Raigad district adjoining Mumbai. WORK IN PROGRESSThe MIAL, who had outsmart its rival GMR, had submitted its bid in February offering 12.6% in revenue share A fortnight ago, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the work for the first phase will commence by December 2019.

Godhra verdict: Gujarat High Court commutes death penalty of 11 convicts to life imprisonment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat High Court today pronounced the verdict in 2002 Godhra train carnage.The High Court commuted the death penalty of 11 convicts to life imprisonment. The court sustained the acquittal of 31 accused and also sustained the life term of 20 convicts.While awarding compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the victims, which is over and above already paid under various schemes, the court said that the state ‘failed to maintain law and order.’ In the horrific incident, 59 passengers were charred to death at the Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002.According to the prosecution, the Sabarmati Express was late and as per pre-planned conspiracy, the chain was pulled just outside the railway station and mob armed with lethal weapon and carrying petrol attacked the train.They pelted stone and locked the doors of the S6 coach from outside. They poured petrol inside the coach and set it on fire.59 passengers in the coach died after suffering severe burn injuries and suffocation.According to police investigation, Aman Guest house owner Abdul Razak Kurkur had procured 60 litre patrol from a fuel pump on February 26. He had hatched the conspiracy of attacking the Sabarmati Express train at his guest house along with Bilal Hussain Kalota.The other accused according to the police investigation was Maulan Umarji. The probe said that on the morning of February 27, he had appealed people from minority community using the mosque loud speaker to gather and rush to railway station.Interestingly, the trial court has acquitted him. After acquittal he died due to old age.However, Kurkur and Kalota with 29 others were convicted for hatching conspiracy and for murder.The special court’s additional sessions judge PR Patel while accepting prosecution theory of pre-planned, had passed verdict running in 850 pages in 2011.The first part of judgment of conviction was announced on February 22 and quantum of punishment on February 25.

Gujarat High Court to pronounce verdict in 2002 Godhra train carnage case on Monday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat High Court will pronounce its judgment on the 2002 Godhra train carnage on Monday.In the horrific incident, 59 passengers were charred to death at the Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002.The trial of the sensitive case was conducted in-camera at the Sabarmati Jail by the special designated court.In 2011, the special court in its verdict had concluded that it is rarest of rare case had convicted 31 accused and acquitted 63 others including main accused Maulana Umarji. Out of 31 convicts, 11 were awarded death penalty and rest 20 were sentenced to life imprisonment.The special court’s verdict was challenged by the state government and the convicts before the Gujarat High Court on April 06 2011.The state had appealed for the confirmation of the special court order, whereas convicts had pleaded for quashing of the convictions.The matter was listed before the division bench of justice AS Dave and justice GR Udhwani.Submission on the appeal began on March 5 2014 and was argued for over a year. On May 5, 2015, after submission of the all parties concerned concluded, the division bench reserved the order. It is this order that will be pronounced on October 9.Notably, on that fateful day, ‘karsevaks’ were returning in Sabarmati Express to Ahmedabad.The train was late and according to the prosecution’s case, as per pre-planned conspiracy, the chain was pulled just outside the railway station and mob armed with lethal weapon and carrying petrol attacked the train.They pelted stone and locked the doors of the S6 coach from outside. They poured petrol inside the coach and set it on fire.59 passengers in the coach died after suffering severe burn injuries and suffocation. According to police investigation, Aman Guest house owner Abdul Razak Kurkur had procured 60 litre patrol from a fuel pump on February 26. He had hatched the conspiracy of attacking the Sabarmati Express train at his guest house along with Bilal Hussain Kalota.The other accused according to the police investigation was Maulan Umarji. The probe said that on the morning of February 27, he had appealed people from minority community using the mosque loud speaker to gather and rush to railway station. Interestingly, the trial court has acquitted him. After acquittal he died due to old age.However, Kurkur and Kalota with 29 others were convicted for hatching conspiracy and for murder.The special court’s additional sessions judge PR Patel while accepting prosecution theory of pre-planned, had passed verdict running in 850 pages in 2011.The first part of judgment of conviction was announced on February 22 and quantum of punishment on February 25.

Out on five-day parole, Sasikala visits ailing husband M Natarajan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sasikala, who was removed from the AIADMK last month after the factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and now Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam united, met Natarajan and was with him for about two hours in the hospital, sources said.Later, she returned to her niece Krishnapriya’s residence in the city. The beleaguered AIADMK leader’s car briefly halted in front of a Ganesha temple in Kotturpuram and she prayed from inside the vehicle as used to be done by late AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa.Sasikala’s low profile visit to hospital was in stark contrast to her public appearances prior to her incarceration in February.During her days before being imprisoned, she used to be surrounded by party men and loyalists raising slogans praising her as “Chinnamma”.Sasikala has been lodged in the Parapana Agrahara central jail since February this year after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction by a special court in a disproportionate assets case. Her relatives Ilavarasi and V NSudhakaran are also serving four-year jail terms in the case.Facing tough parole conditions, she refrained from visiting party men or interacting with them during her hospital visit today.The hospital, meanwhile, said in a statement that Natarajan (74) is recovering and he is “awake and oriented and is on ventilator support through tracheostomy, which was performed on October 6”.TTV Dhinakaran loyalist and senior leader Nanjil Sampath said he saw Sasikala in the hospital and told her to pray.He said he asked Sasikala to recite ‘Sundara Kandam’ from the Ramayana “as it would bring her relief”.Sasikala arrived in the city yesterday from the Parapana Agrahara central jail in Bengaluru after being granted parole for five days.Natarajan was admitted at the liver Intensive Care Unit of Gleneagles Global Health City under the care of a team of doctors led by Professor Mohamed Rela, the hospital said.It said that at the time of admission, he had “worsening liver failure, kidney failure and lung congestion, and underwent liver and kidney transplantation on October four.” In a statement, Director, Institute of Liver Disease and Transplantation of the hospital, Dr K Ilankumaran said considering Natarajan’s age and his associated co-morbidities, his condition was stable during the surgery and he is “recovering well in the liver intensive care unit”.”He (Natarajan) is awake and oriented and he is on ventilator support through tracheostomy, which has been performed on October six.”As in any other combined liver and kidney transplant surgeries, his condition would be critical for the next few days, Ilankumaran said, adding “he is under close observation and monitoring”.It may be recalled that Sasikala had sought parole for 15 days, but was granted only five days with tough conditions, including that she will not get involved in any political or other public activity or take part in party activities.She is allowed only to visit the hospital where her husband is admitted and stay at the residence as mentioned in the application.Sasikala has also been restricted from interacting with any media — print or electronic.

VK Sasikala walks out of jail on 5-day parole

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala on Friday stepped out of Bengaluru prison on a five-day emergency parole to visit her ailing husband M Natarajan, nearly eight months after she was imprisoned in corruption charges.Sasikala, 60, has been given parole from October 7 to 11 to visit the hospital where her husband is admitted. She has been directed to keep away from all political activity during the parole period. Her nephew TTV Dhinakaran received her at the Parappana Agrahara Prison and both of them proceeded to Chennai in a private car.Natarajan, 74, had undergone liver and kidney transplant at a private hospital in Chennai on Wednesday.Though Sasikala applied for 15 days’ parole on Wednesday, the prison authority permitted her to be out of jail for only five days with conditions. As per the conditions, she has been asked not to entertain any visitors either at the residence or at the hospital. She is also not supposed to involve in political activities and also can’t interact with media.Sasikala is serving a four-year imprisonment in the central prison on the city’s outskirts since February 15 after the Supreme Court on February 14 upheld her conviction in late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s disproportionate assets case by the lower court.Sasikala, a long time aide of Jayalalithaa, would be staying in the house of her sister-in-law Ilavarasi’s daughter Krishnapriya residence at T Nagar here, said party sources. With Palanisami government announcing that Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence would be converted into a memorial, Sasikala has no access to the residence of the late AIADMK supremo, where she stayed for over 30 years.Supporters of Sasikala have erected hoardings welcoming her at T Nagar. The parole comes at a time when she and her nephew Dhinakaran have been totally sidelined by the unified AIADMK led by CM Palanisami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam. As many as 18 MLAs loyal to her has been disqualified and have challenged the Speaker’s order in the Madras High Court.Sasikala loyalist and AIADMK’s Karnataka unit in-charge Va Pugazhendi said that party’s Rajya Sabha MP N Krishnan gave an undertaking on Sasikala’s behalf and deposited Rs 1,000 with the jail as a surety for her parole. Tamil Nadu Police, which has given no-objection certificate for Sasikala’s visit to Chennai, will look after her security during the parole.

Sasikala’s husband undergoes liver and kidney transplant

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala’s husband, M Natarajan, has undergone liver and kidney transplant, her relative and sidelined party member TTV Dhinakaran said today.Natarajan had been undergoing treatment at a corporate hospital for the past few days.”I have received information that the liver and kidney transplant surgery has been performed on uncle,” Dhinakaran told reporters here before leaving for the hospital where 74- year-old Natarajan is admitted.Sasikala had sought a 15-day parole from the Karnataka Prisons authorities to meet Natarajan but the plea was rejected on technical grounds.Confirming the news, Dhinakaran said that he was informed by their advocate that her plea for parole had been “rejected due to insufficient details.””If she seeks parole properly (with required documents) again, I am sure she will get it,” he added.When asked if Sasikala would stay at Poes Garden residence of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa if released on parole, Dhinakaran said, “Let her come first,” and asked where would the scribe who posed the question wanted Sasikala to put up.Sasikala had continued to stay at the Poes Garden residence even after Jayalalithaa’s demise last December. She proceeded from there to Bengaluru in February to surrender before a local court after the Supreme Court upheld a lower court judgement sentencing her to four years in jail in the Rs 66.6-crore disproportionate assets case.

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